Author Topic: Commercial LEO Destinations Development  (Read 114207 times)

Offline yg1968

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Re: Commercial LEO Destinations Development
« Reply #360 on: 10/16/2023 02:26 am »
TBC means to be confirmed

Yes. Unfortunately those were the last public documents I could find, and where the final figures landed is not public to my knowledge. Although remember quite a bit of debate around them (and IIRC you were a party to those debates).

Sans other information, think the best we can say is that this is NASA's first offer. Have to see how industry responds--which to your point may very well be "You're kidding!? Why are we being held to a higher standard?"

OTOH, we're a decade past and should be able to do better? So maybe NASA is right to push harder.

That is not the latest public version. The latest public version is from 2016 and it was confirmed (i.e., there is no TBC or TBD, see pages 46 and 47 of the 2016 version):

https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=26489.msg1650808#msg1650808
« Last Edit: 10/16/2023 02:43 am by yg1968 »

Offline joek

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Re: Commercial LEO Destinations Development
« Reply #361 on: 10/16/2023 04:51 pm »
[That is not the latest public version. The latest public version is from 2016 and it was confirmed (i.e., there is no TBC or TBD, see pages 46 and 47 of the 2016 version):
https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=26489.msg1650808#msg1650808

Thanks! also added to list in first post so won't forget.

Offline yg1968

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Re: Commercial LEO Destinations Development
« Reply #362 on: 10/17/2023 12:29 am »
[That is not the latest public version. The latest public version is from 2016 and it was confirmed (i.e., there is no TBC or TBD, see pages 46 and 47 of the 2016 version):
https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=26489.msg1650808#msg1650808

Thanks! also added to list in first post so won't forget.

Just to complicate things, I found a more recent version on NTRS from 2017. You may want to attach that one instead:
https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=26489.msg2532283#msg2532283
« Last Edit: 10/17/2023 12:30 am by yg1968 »

Offline yg1968

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Re: Commercial LEO Destinations Development
« Reply #363 on: 11/21/2023 01:30 am »
Interesting that Starship is mentioned as a potential commercial crew spacecraft. My guess is that SpaceX is considering a commercial crew variant of Starship (presumably this variant would have a LAS):

https://twitter.com/SpcPlcyOnline/status/1726638928361603127

Online gongora

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Re: Commercial LEO Destinations Development
« Reply #364 on: 11/21/2023 01:33 am »
Interesting that Starship is mentioned as a potential commercial crew spacecraft. My guess is that SpaceX is considering a commercial crew variant of Starship (presumably this variant would have a LAS):

https://twitter.com/SpcPlcyOnline/status/1726638928361603127

You're missing some context on that.  He was talking about doing short term free-flyer missions in LEO if there is no space station to visit.

Offline yg1968

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Re: Commercial LEO Destinations Development
« Reply #365 on: 11/21/2023 02:16 am »
So he was talking about using Starship as a temporary habitat, not as a commercial crew vehicle?

Here is another slide that explains it:

https://twitter.com/genejm29/status/1726637844289274299

Online gongora

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Re: Commercial LEO Destinations Development
« Reply #366 on: 11/21/2023 02:55 am »
So he was talking about using Starship as a temporary habitat, not as a commercial crew vehicle?

yes

Offline yg1968

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Offline Asteroza

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Re: Commercial LEO Destinations Development
« Reply #368 on: 11/21/2023 04:52 am »
McAlister: Space Station Gap Would Be “Not Great, But Not Irrecoverable”:
https://spacepolicyonline.com/news/mcalister-space-station-gap-would-be-not-great-but-not-irrecoverable/

https://twitter.com/SpcPlcyOnline/status/1726817069638066659

I hate to use a movie quote here, but the last time someone said "not great, not terrible" things did not go to plan...


also, "Mr. President, we must not allow... a mine shaft LEO destination gap!"
« Last Edit: 11/21/2023 09:37 pm by Asteroza »

Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: Commercial LEO Destinations Development
« Reply #369 on: 11/21/2023 08:58 pm »
https://twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/1727067564470321643

Quote
It seems increasingly likely that NASA could have a dreaded gap in low-Earth orbit habitation starting in 2030. One senior NASA official says he could live with that:

https://arstechnica.com/space/2023/11/with-budget-cuts-and-an-aging-station-can-nasa-learn-to-love-a-gap-in-orbit/

Quote
With budget cuts and an aging station, can NASA learn to love a gap in orbit?
"Personally, I don't think that would be the end of the world."

by Eric Berger - Nov 21, 2023 8:21pm GMT

Just in case you were under any illusions about the age of the International Space Station, Monday marked the 25th anniversary of the launch of the Zarya module. This Russian-built power and propulsion module formed the cornerstone of the space station, and the first residents arrived two years later.

Online DanClemmensen

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Re: Commercial LEO Destinations Development
« Reply #370 on: 11/21/2023 09:20 pm »
McAlister: Space Station Gap Would Be “Not Great, But Not Irrecoverable”:
https://spacepolicyonline.com/news/mcalister-space-station-gap-would-be-not-great-but-not-irrecoverable/
I don't really understand this. One of the four unfunded ideas NASA is pursuing is a Starship-based CLD. Starship HLS is already funded and under active development. An unmodified Starship HLS option B should be able to function as a CLD, with a higher pressurized volume than ISS. Relatively minor modifications would convert it into very capable CLD.

Offline Zed_Noir

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Re: Commercial LEO Destinations Development
« Reply #371 on: 11/22/2023 03:30 pm »
McAlister: Space Station Gap Would Be “Not Great, But Not Irrecoverable”:
https://spacepolicyonline.com/news/mcalister-space-station-gap-would-be-not-great-but-not-irrecoverable/
I don't really understand this. One of the four unfunded ideas NASA is pursuing is a Starship-based CLD. Starship HLS is already funded and under active development. An unmodified Starship HLS option B should be able to function as a CLD, with a higher pressurized volume than ISS. Relatively minor modifications would convert it into very capable CLD.
It appears there isn't sufficient funding in the pipeline to get a CLD online before 2030. It is about the money not the technical details.


Online DanClemmensen

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Re: Commercial LEO Destinations Development
« Reply #372 on: 11/22/2023 03:46 pm »
McAlister: Space Station Gap Would Be “Not Great, But Not Irrecoverable”:
https://spacepolicyonline.com/news/mcalister-space-station-gap-would-be-not-great-but-not-irrecoverable/
I don't really understand this. One of the four unfunded ideas NASA is pursuing is a Starship-based CLD. Starship HLS is already funded and under active development. An unmodified Starship HLS option B should be able to function as a CLD, with a higher pressurized volume than ISS. Relatively minor modifications would convert it into very capable CLD.
It appears there isn't sufficient funding in the pipeline to get a CLD online before 2030. It is about the money not the technical details.
In NASA's stated fantasy, a CLD  (Commercial LEO Destination) pays for itself. SpaceX would pay for and launch the CLD, and NASA and others would rent space on it. That NASA money that is not in the pipeline is for the development phase. Of course, the CLD provider needs an anchor tenant to justify the development and launch, and that's where NASA (and Congress) must make their commitment.

The advantage of a Starship-based CLD would be low cost for development and manufacture. But SpaceX might not be interested: they may think a CLD has poor ROI even if they use the cheapest approach (e.g., a minimally-modified HLS).  SpaceX wants to go to Mars, and an LEO station may not be useful for that. However, do note that NASA is already paying SpaceX almost $600M/yr to send eight astronauts/yr to ISS, and that money goes away when ISS goes away unless there is a replacement. SpaceX also already flies tourists to ISS, presumably at a profit. All of this enters into the business case for the CLD.

Offline yg1968

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Offline yg1968

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Re: Commercial LEO Destinations Development
« Reply #374 on: 11/23/2023 03:20 am »
Update on the CLD Program:
https://www.nasa.gov/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/cldp-heo-nac-11-20-23.pdf

https://www.nasa.gov/nac/heo-committee/

Slide 13 is interesting it says:

Quote from: page 13 of Angela Hart's presentation
SpaceX – Starship as a CLD (first with Dragon for crew and cargo, later as crewed sortiable CLD). Related Dragon and Starlink upgrades.

It seems to confirm that SpaceX intends to eventually certify Starship for commercial crew.
« Last Edit: 11/23/2023 04:00 am by yg1968 »

Offline yg1968

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Re: Commercial LEO Destinations Development
« Reply #375 on: 11/23/2023 03:56 am »
I think that we already knew that but it also confirms that Blue is working on a crewed space vehicle and that Sierra Space is working on the crewed DC-200 as part of CCSC2.

See page 13:
https://www.nasa.gov/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/cldp-heo-nac-11-20-23.pdf

Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: Commercial LEO Destinations Development
« Reply #376 on: 12/12/2023 06:53 pm »
https://twitter.com/nasaspaceops/status/1734620164141031714

Quote
Three @NASA-funded commercial space station partners are on track for the design and development of their orbital destinations and the transition of agency’s low Earth orbit needs from the @Space_Station.

“We are ending the year on a high note with multiple important milestones being completed by our partners,” said Angela Hart, manager of the Commercial Low Earth Orbit Development Program @NASA_Johnson in Houston. “Over the past few months, we have been able to dig into the details of the specific hardware and processes of these stations and are moving forward to multiple comprehensive design reviews next year.”

Learn more:

https://www.nasa.gov/humans-in-space/commercial-space/leo-economy/nasas-commercial-partners-continue-progress-on-new-space-stations/

Quote
NASA’s Commercial Partners Continue Progress on New Space Stations

Commercial Low Earth Orbit Development Program
DEC 12, 2023
ARTICLE

CONTENTS
Axiom Space
Orbital Reef
Starlab

Three NASA-funded commercial space station partners are on track for the design and development of their orbital destinations and the transition of agency’s low Earth orbit needs from the International Space Station.

“We are ending the year on a high note with multiple important milestones being completed by our partners,” said Angela Hart, manager of the Commercial Low Earth Orbit Development Program at NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston. “Over the past few months, we have been able to dig into the details of the specific hardware and processes of these stations and are moving forward to multiple comprehensive design reviews next year.”

Axiom Space

Axiom Space, which holds a firm-fixed price, indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract with NASA, is on schedule to launch and attach its first module, named Axiom Hab One, to the International Space Station in 2026. A total of four modules are planned for the Axiom Commercial Segment attached to the station. After the space station’s retirement, the Axiom Commercial Segment will separate and become a free-flying commercial destination named Axiom Station.

The hatches of the Axiom Hab One module are fabricated and prepared to undergo pressure testing to ensure a strong enough seal to withstand the vacuum of space. Manufacturing of the Axiom Hab One module is underway, and the critical design review will occur in 2024. During this review, NASA will assess the maturity of the Axiom Space design and provide feedback necessary to ensure safe operations when it is attached to the International Space Station.

Orbital Reef

Blue Origin, which NASA awarded a Space Act Agreement in 2021 to develop a free-flying space station named Orbital Reef, recently completed tests for a window system and a structural demonstration.

For the structural test, Blue Origin used a prototype of their space station’s main module, called the Core, to demonstrate the manufacturing processes required to build the final pressurized modules of the station. The test supports validation of the structural models and analytical tools for the Core’s structural design.

The International Space Station’s cupola, a room with seven windows overlooking the Earth, is the cornerstone of crewed missions for both research and astronaut morale. Orbital Reef will incorporate multiple windows on its Core, with each window spanning about twice the size of a car windshield. For the window test, Blue Origin evaluated the window integration structure design concept and its performance against the pressures and temperatures the windows will be exposed to while in orbit.

Starlab

NASA also awarded Starlab, a station being developed by Voyager Space’s Exploration Segment, a Space Act Agreement in 2021. Voyager Space recently announced a partnership with Airbus and Northrop Grumman. Voyager’s Exploration Segment, which includes Nanoracks, recently completed three milestones: a system definition review and the initiation of two pairs of milestones for an optical link demonstration and alternative urine processor demonstration.

Free-space optical, also called laser communications, allows for higher data rates and more energy-efficient communications than radio frequency communication systems. A major goal of the optical communication demonstration is to conduct testing from the International Space Station to the ground to establish the capabilities needed for Starlab. This initial milestone, within the optical link demonstration milestone pair scope, validated the Starlab testing plan. The optical link is planning to be tested next on the International Space Station.

As on the International Space Station, Starlab will recover purified water from urine to reduce water needed to resupply the station. Starlab will test an alternative urine processor under realistic operating conditions to validate functional performance and reduce implementation risk. Similar to the optical link demonstration, the processor demonstration is divided into a pair of milestones, with this initial completed milestone validating the testing plan.

Starlab’s third recently completed milestone was a system definition review. Teams examined how NASA’s potential commercial space station requirements aligned to the functional areas of the Starlab system to define the space station architecture. The completion of this milestone initiated preparations for the next step in the comprehensive review process, the preliminary design review.

NASA is working closely with commercial companies to develop new space stations capable of providing services to NASA and others, which will ensure that the U.S. maintains a continuous human presence in low Earth orbit and provides direct benefits for people on Earth. Leading into NASA’s future procurement for commercial low Earth orbit services, the agency recently released its third request for information.

For more information about NASA’s commercial space strategy, visit:

https://www.nasa.gov/humans-in-space/commercial-space/

Captions:

Quote
A hatch of the Axiom Hab One module, which will attach the module to the International Space Station.
Axiom Space

Quote
NASA engineers work alongside Blue Origin team members to conduct testing on prototype windows for the Orbital Reef commercial space station.
Blue Origin

Quote
A test unit of a water recovery system used on board the International Space Station in 2015 that helped transform urine from crew members into usable water.
NASA

Offline tbellman

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Re: Commercial LEO Destinations Development
« Reply #377 on: 01/07/2024 03:44 pm »
More money awarded to Voyager Space and Blue Origin for their CLD space stations.

NASA: NASA Adjusts Agreements to Benefit Commercial Station Development

Also article by Jeff Foust in SpaceNews (which is where I found out about the news): NASA adds funding to Blue Origin and Voyager Space commercial space station agreements

In short:

• Blue Origin gets $42M extra on top of the $130M they had been awarded earlier for Orbital Reef.  New milestones: several subsystem design reviews; technology maturation; tests and demonstrations of ECLSS systems.

• Voyager get $57.5M extra on top of their previously awarded $160M.  New milestones for: upgrading Cygnus spacecraft for docking (instead of berthing), and "additional Starlab development milestones focused on operations, assembly, integration, and testing as well as a rendezvous and proximity operations demonstration".

The extra funding comes mostly ($89M) from money left over when Northrop Grumman withdrew from their agreement; they had only spent $36.6M of their $125.6M award.  The rest of the extra funding ($10.5M) is other money NASA have found left over.



Quote from: NASA
NASA has modified agreements for two funded commercial space station partners that are on track to develop low Earth orbit destinations for NASA and other customers as the International Space Station retires in 2030. The changes add new technical milestones and reallocate existing funding to allow the agency to accelerate efforts as part of NASA’s goal to foster a commercial low Earth orbit economy.

“These new milestones will be of immense value to NASA and the partners, and will help ensure we have a smooth transition from the International Space Station to commercial destinations,” says Phil McAlister, director of commercial space at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “The milestones target key technology and risk reduction areas of our partners’ designs. The milestones also include additional hardware testing which is critically important to any spaceflight development effort. In addition, each new milestone will be an opportunity for NASA to gain further insight into our partners’ progress and technical designs.”

The changes are a result of a previously announced joining of Northrop Grumman and Starlab partners originally working under separate Space Act Agreements. NASA has transferred funding freed up from the withdrawal of Northrop Grumman from its agreement with NASA, as well as other program funding, to add new milestones to the existing agreements with Blue Origin and Starlab.

Blue Origin of Seattle is receiving an additional $42 million for its Orbital Reef station, bringing the total award to $172 million. The new milestones include several additional subsystem design reviews and technology maturation activities. They also include key tests and demonstrations in the environmental control and life support system, such as water filtration and atmospheric monitoring.

Voyager Space’s Exploration Segment, which includes Nanoracks, will receive an additional $57.5 million for its Starlab station, bringing the total award to $217.5 million. The new milestones include the addition of development milestones for the Northrop Grumman Cygnus spacecraft, upgrading from berthing to docking to better serve Starlab and commercial markets. The new milestones also include additional Starlab development milestones focused on operations, assembly, integration, and testing as well as a rendezvous and proximity operations demonstration.

Blue Origin and Voyager Space/Nanoracks have Space Act Agreements with NASA, while NASA’s other funded commercial station partner, Axiom Space, holds a firm-fixed price, contract with the agency. NASA is in the process of negotiating additional content to Axiom Space’s contract. Details are still being finalized and more information will be released by the agency as those negotiations are completed.

“We continue to see an immense amount of dedication from our partners,” said Angela Hart, manager of Commercial Low Earth Orbit Development Program at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. “The agency is committed to continuing to work with industry with the goal having one or more stations in orbit to ensure competition, lower costs, and meet the demand of NASA and other customers.”

NASA is supporting the design and development of multiple commercial space stations with the three funded partners listed above, as well as several other partners with unfunded agreements through NASA’s Collaborations for Commercial Space Capabilities-2 project.

The current design and development phase will be followed by the procurement of services from one or more companies, where NASA aims to be one of many customers for low Earth orbit destinations.. The agency recently issued a request for information for industry to provide input on the agency’s requirements for end-to-end low Earth orbit space station services.

NASA’s commercial strategy for low Earth orbit will provide the government with reliable and safe services at a lower cost and enable the agency to focus on Artemis missions to the Moon in preparation for Mars, while also continuing to use low Earth orbit as a training and proving ground for those deep space missions.

For more information about NASA’s commercial low Earth orbit strategy, visit:

https://www.nasa.gov/low-earth-orbit-economy/

Offline yg1968

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Re: Commercial LEO Destinations Development
« Reply #378 on: 02/14/2024 02:11 pm »
See below:

House hearing - The ISS and Beyond: The Present and Future of American Low-Earth Orbit Activities
https://science.house.gov/hearings?ID=F0B6C16D-A32C-44DA-8D40-762115CAB24C



Offline sdsds

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Re: Commercial LEO Destinations Development
« Reply #379 on: 02/14/2024 07:11 pm »
House hearing - The ISS and Beyond: The Present and Future of American Low-Earth Orbit Activities
[...] youtube.com/watch?v=d0cl1xlIxXQ

Regarding CLD, Dittmar (representing Axiom) explicitly recommends an immediate down-select to a maximum of two providers.

Edit to indicate the comment is at about 24 m into the video, and to add screenshot.
« Last Edit: 02/14/2024 07:21 pm by sdsds »
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